One State, Indivisable – The Osterman Files

The last time I looked at a map, California was one state. It wasn’t split between Southern California and Northern California ala North and South Dakota or North and South Carolina or West Virginia and just-plain Virginia. It’s one state, one government, one people. Why, then, does horse racing pretend that it’s two? Now that the other shoe seems to have dropped and the hammer has finally fallen on Hollywood Park (at least in the minds of just about everyone concerned), it would appear the perfect time for California to come together as one racing venue. It’s time to end this out-of-balance scheme where South California is the spoiled child given everything and North California is the ugly stepchild forced to survive on hand-me-downs and leftovers? Just what did the Bay Area ever do to deserve being treated like the drunken uncle who can’t safely be invited to a family

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Changing the Thoroughbred Birthday from January 1 to July 1

There has been plenty of debate on whether the Triple Crown races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes) should be changed from 3-year-old’s only to 4-year-old’s only.  Many argue that it will ruin the tradition of the series and those that win a Triple Crown as a 4-year-old would not be comparable to those that have won as a 3-year-old.  The opponents suggest that today’s thoroughbred is not durable enough to win all three races and that many that go thru the series often do not race again or can continue to compete at a top level. Both ideas seem to be in neutral so why don’t we meet it in the middle.  Let’s change the universal birthday for a thoroughbred from Jan 1 to July 1.  This will allow a 3-year-old to be a mature sophomore instead of a less mature one.  Right now, if a runner in

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Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass Stakes recap

The last two major preps for the Kentucky Derby took place on Saturday, April 13 as trainers Todd Pletcher and Kenneth McPeek finished 1-2 in both races.  At Oaklawn Park, it was the Arkansas Derby won by Overanalyze under Rafael Bejarano and in the Blue Grass at Keeneland, it was Java’s War under Julien Leparoux. Arkansas Derby: This year’s edition was the slowest since 1978 as Overanalyze won by just over four lengths for trainer Todd Pletcher.  In comparison, the Oaklawn Handicap (raced an hour before) went in 1:49.67 while this race was run in 1:51.94.  Frac Daddy was able to finish 2nd with Carve a half-length back in 3rd.  The favorite, War Academy, was eased up the backstretch. The top three pace setters did not finish in the Trifecta and it looks like most all of these horses will have a tough time winning at 10 furlongs at the

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It's All About the Fans – The Osterman Files

The first thing anybody needs to know about how racing survives is the pyramid on which the game is built. The foundation is the fan because without people willing to wager their money there is no need for the Thoroughbred industry to exist as we know it. Thus, there is no need for rich people willing to breed and buy horses in all price ranges to run them at the nation’s tracks. The tracks themselves would be torn down so trainers and jockeys would have to find a different line of work. And forget those individuals who grind out a living on the backside, on the front side or in other parasitical endeavors tied to horse racing. If the foundation is not strong enough to pack the other levels of the pyramid, it will all eventually collapse. That’s just how business works. One of the primary reasons racing continues in

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Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial Recap

Some familiar names punched their ticket for the Kentucky Derby this past weekend as Goldencents and Verrazano won their respective races.  We also learned that Santa Anita Derby runner-up Flashback was found to have a knee chip and is off the trail while Wood Memorial third-place finisher Vyjack had mucus in his lungs and possibly bled. Santa Anita Derby: The pace figured to be contested and seven of the eight runners bunched up entering the clubhouse turn.  Super Ninety Nine set the pace with Goldencents pressing him to his outside.  Entering the stretch, those two lined up with Flashback outside of them two in what looked to be a thrilling stretch duel. It never really happened as Super Ninety Nine tired while Goldencents never let Flashback get within a length throughout the stretch.  This was a nice rebound for Goldencents off his 4th in the San Felipe.  We mentioned after

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Backing Closers off a Layoff

Backing Closers off a layoff It’s easier to find a big effort off the bench with a horse who figures to relax while getting into a nice breathing pattern early and therefore allowing him to finish down the lane.Why is is this? The trainer essentially is prepping his horse to settle before coming with a final ⅜ run, as opposed to the horse who needs to run hard from gate to wire off the bench, a task which is further complicated by the speed types off the bench who’re are often twice as wound-up having not run for a bit. Getting those types to settle early while out on the front end is often difficult. Antikolinerga substansen solifenacinsuccinat, som verkar genom att reducera inflammation apoteketrecept i samband. Levitra vardenafil køb og viagra, resultatet var en hyggelig aften sammen med aspirin til cialis soft forebyggelse. Make sure to check out the

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Maximizing Your Profit – The Osterman Files

Hitting an extended horizontal multiple wager like the Pick 4 or the Pick 5 (not to mention the Pick 6) is never an easy thing to do. Coming up with the proper singles in one or two of the races is tough enough but, even if they win, there’s no guarantee the ticket will be cashed. There are days when the singles score but the spread races miss. There are days when the spread races produce big payoffs but the singles blow. Then, of course, there are many days when you just plain whiff. That’s just the way it is but if it wasn’t this way, the returns wouldn’t be worth the headaches. One of the TVG geniuses (don’t know which one) put up a winning ticket for the late Pick 4 at Santa Anita on Sunday and it turned out to be a nice one as the fellow invested

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Louisiana Derby and Florida Derby Recap

The first major preps at 1 1/8 miles took place on Saturday, March 30 and the final times for both races were not impressive. Still, both winners look like they are entering the Derby in top form as each kept their win streaks intact. Both races did have different pace scenarios as well and we’ll discuss below. Louisiana Derby: Longshot Hip Four Sixtynine and Titletown Five dueled early on fast fractions with Code West stalking them in the clear in the third spot.  Those two gave up the lead as they entered the stretch as the field bunched up.  Revolutionary and Mylute both rallied wide and they began their duel to the wire at the 1/8th pole.  It looked like Mylute was going to hold off Revolutionary, but it was Revolutionary proving best at the wire to win by a neck.  Code West ended up a tired 6th with no

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Much ado about Something? The Osterman Files

Old Bill Shakespeare is probably the only guy in history to get much mileage out of “Much Ado About Nothing”. For most everyone else, when we say “much ado about nothing”, we mean “much ado about nothing”. Well, for the moment anyway, it appears as if the somewhat controversial change to “points” over graded-stakes earnings as a pathway into the 2013 Kentucky Derby appears to be just that, “much ado about nothing”. They’ve already completed the “Prep Season” (19 races awarding 10-4-2-1 points for the first four finishers) and the first leg of “Championship Series” (eight races awarding 50-20-10-5 points) with the second leg (100-40-20-10) kicking off this weekend with the Florida Derby, the UAE Derby and the Louisiana Derby. It will wrap up with the Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby (April 6), Arkansas Derby and Blue Grass (April 13). By the time the two “Wild Card” races (the Lexington

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ECHR Lesson – Handicapping the Cheap Field

  Only 8 more race days from Gulfstream with Closing Day scheduled for Friday, April 5th!  We’ll then be returning to New York for full reports from NY for the next 8 months and we’re ready to again ambush these Meets as we did last year with double digit winner after double digit winner. Each day in the East Coast Handicapping Report (ECHR), we look to incorporate Handicapping Lessons into the day’s races. Below we’ll quickly address HANDICAPPING THE CHEAP FIELD: In a cheap field lacking much talent we like to find the likely leader at the 1/4 pole which has led Members to numerous winners for members of both the WCHR(since 2002) and now the ECHR (since 2012). See, in a weak field very few runners are making up ground down the lane. If the front runner at the 1/4 pole can be established, they’re often an excellent candidate

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